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Getting Lung Transplant; NSA Leaker Talks to China Newspaper; Colorado Battling Five Wildfires; Living Impoverished in Cambodia

Aired June 12, 2013 - 12:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Of that fence that divides U.S. and Mexico.

And Pope Francis grabbing world headlines again. This time with reports saying he confirms a so called gay lobby existing inside of the Vatican.

Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. Michael Holmes is off today.

But we begin with breaking news out of Philadelphia. This is a great story. This is the family of that little girl in desperate need of a lung transplant. Well they say now she has found a donor and she is in surgery this mother. Sarah Murnaghan's mother, as you know, launched this effective campaign to change lung transplant rules. It moved up the 10-year-old up the list for a transplant. The girl has cystic fibrosis and would have died soon without new lungs. Jason Carroll joins us with the good news.

It did not come out as expected. Everybody was kind of hoping and waiting and seeing what was going to happen. This was rather a surprise. Have you spoken with the mother? Do we know how she's doing?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was definitely a surprise. A surprise to the family as well. And as you know, Suzanne, Sarah Murnaghan had not been doing well lately. She had been very sick, in critical condition and had really been struggling all week and all of late last week. And so then imagine how the family felt when at -- last night at about 10:30 doctors came in and gave them word that a lung donor -- donation had been made available. And so then everyone sort of goes into this mode of getting Sarah then prepared for surgery.

We're told she went into surgery at about 11:20 this morning, around that time. She still has a long road ahead of her. This is a difficult surgery that she will have to undergo. And before her parents come out to speak, they definitely want to make sure that their little girl, Sarah, has done well at the outset of that surgery.

I also want to tell you, as you know, this has been a long road for Sarah Murnaghan and her family. It began with a long wait, 18 months on the -- waiting for a lung donation to come through. Lung donations for children do not happen that often. Her parents thought the system was unfair, basically, feeling as though if you're under 12 years old, and Sarah, once again, is 10, you don't have priority on the so-called over 12 list and that they feel as though there are more lung donations available for those children and adults on that over 12 list. But because of a rule with the Department of Health and Human Services, children under 12 were not allowed on that list.


CARROLL: So they sued and a judge ruled in their favor. And so then what you had was this temporary period of time where children, like Sarah, are then allowed on that list and then now look what happens. Now she now has this lung donation that's become available.

We don't know at this point, Suzanne, if this donation came from a child or an adult. We're still trying to sort that out.


CARROLL: But also, on Monday, another big, major development. A change to the rules. And this happened on Monday because basically there was an emergency meeting that took place with the National Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, as well as the United Network for Organ Sharing.


CARROLL: These are the organizations, Suzanne, that basically oversee and maintain these lists. Well, they held an emergency meeting and basically made a change to their policy as a result of what happened with Sarah.

MALVEAUX: All right, it is great news. Jason, thank you so much.

I want to bring in our Dr. Sanjay Gupta joining us on the phone.

Sanjay, really, this is unprecedented here. Tell us, first of all, what is little Sarah going through right now.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, there's probably a -- it was a very highly coordinated several hours when they -- she got the call. I think Jason said last night her family got the call at 10:30 saying that this - this was going to happen. And over the last, you know, 13 hours or so coordinating - removing the lungs from the donor and getting little Sarah ready for surgery.

At this point, the transplant itself, I'm not sure exactly where they are in the procedure. I think they're just staring -- started. It is a question of -- there's taking the organs that are diseased, the organs that have been afflicted by cystic fibrosis, removing those, ultimately putting the new organs in. We don't know, again, if they're adult or child organs and that would make a difference just in terms of what the surgeons are going to place those organs in the body, sewing in the blood vessels of that (ph) phase, whether the lungs had to be trimmed down, whether they were just transplanting certain lobes of the lung or the entire lungs. All of that, obviously, decisions that have been made and are going to be implemented now. The operation itself, Suzanne, takes several hours. And then even after that, the patient, in this case Sarah, is often, you know, sedated for some time. So it will, you know, be late into the night, maybe even tomorrow morning before we really have an idea, clear idea of how things went.

MALVEAUX: And, Sanjay, tell us about this long road to recovery after she gets these lungs.

GUPTA: Yes, that's a really good question, Suzanne. I think for any transplant patient, you know, the - obviously it's a big operation in and of itself. When you do transplantation surgery, one of big goals is to prevent the body from thinking of these new organs as foreign - as a foreign body. And in order to do that, you have to give medications that can suppress the immune system. So those are medications that she will need to take. And, you know, there's, you know, significant medications in terms of making sure she doesn't develop other infections.

You also have a genetic disease that's at the heart of all this, cystic fibrosis, and the lung transplant does not take care of that genetic disease. It takes care of the lungs. But people who have cystic fibrosis are at risk for infections, are at risk of damage to their other organs, including the sinuses, pancreas, things like that in the body. So it is going to be a long road. And that's, you know, I think what you and Jason were eluding to in terms of just how emotionally charged this debate has been because this isn't a cure all simply doing the transplant.


GUPTA: And I think that's what's fueled some of this discussion back and forth.

MALVEAUX: All right, Sanjay, thank you so much. We really wish little Sarah the very, very best, she and her family.

We're also following this story. He's hiding out and he's also speaking out. This is the man who leaked details of the government's secret phone and Internet surveillance programs. Well, he's giving his first interview since revealing himself. Edward Snowden talked to the "South China Morning Post" today. It was from a secret location in Hong Kong. Well, he's been in hiding there since coming forward as the source of the leak and he tells the paper, quote, "I'm neither traitor nor hero. I'm an American." Anna Coren, she's joining us from Hong Kong.

What do we know about what he's revealed in this interview?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Suzanne, it's no mistake that he's actually spoken to the "South China Morning Post." It's the largest English daily here in Hong Kong. And he's making a direct address to the Hong Kong people.

You know, many people have wondered, why did he choose to come to Hong Kong. And this is what he said. "People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I'm not here to hide from justice, I'm here to reveal criminality."

Of course, Hong Kong and the United States has an extradition treaty and, you know, politicians here were basically saying, if he thinks he's safe, he is not. But, obviously, you know, Edward Snowden has a plan and this is what he implied in that quote.

MALVEAUX: Do we expect to learn more from him in this interview?

COREN: Yes, most definitely. There are several other quotes and they're going to continue coming out, Suzanne, in the next couple of hours. He speaks about fighting any extradition attempt from the U.S. government and he really has appealed directly to the Hong Kong people.

I'll read you another quote from the article. He says, "my intention is to ask the courts and the people of Hong Kong to decide my fate. I have been given no reason to doubt your system."

You know, this is really gaining momentum here in Hong Kong. Residents here have already organized a rally for the weekend in support of him. They love the fact that he's chosen Hong Kong as a refuge.

This is the other thing that he also said, just before we wrap up. "I've had many opportunities to flee Hong Kong, but I would rather stay and fight the U.S. governments in the courts because I have faith in Hong Kong's rule of law." And certainly, Suzanne, the lawyers that we have spoken to say that if Edward Snowden does fight any extradition order, that this could potentially drag out for months, if not longer.

MALVEAUX: All right, Anna, we'll see if any bombshells come out of that newspaper article when they release those details.

Thanks, Anna. Appreciate it.

Edward Snowden, he might be hiding out, but his girlfriend's speaking out through social media. This is Lindsay Mills, describes herself as a pole dancing super hero. That's right. In a post on her blog on Monday, Mills said she was typing on a tear streaked keyboard. She is obviously upset. There's no evidence that Mills knew about this leak, but she says she's not going to be blogging for a while. On the photo sharing site Flickr she writes, "I have lost my compass and find myself adrift in a sea chaos. Good-bye my friends. I'll see you when the waves calmly set my vessel back on dry land."

And to Turkey now. there is an uneasy calm that is replacing the violence that we saw yesterday. This is out of Istanbul. Live picture that you are watching there of Taksim Square. Traffic looks like it is moving along there. The protesters are no longer occupying that area. Riot police, however, are standing guard.

Now, overnight, what we witnessed what a very, very different scene. Watch this. Riot police were firing tear gas, water cannon, stun grenades at those protesters. Now, the protesters fought back as best they could. They were throwing rocks, bottles, fireworks. There were some Molotov cocktails as well. The country's prime minister has set up a meeting today with those activists, but the protest leaders, they bailed out of those talks because of the government's crackdown.

The government is allowing demonstrators to stay in a park that is adjacent to that square. Meanwhile, demonstrators are being planned to show support for the government.

Want to get you the very latest from Istanbul. Nick Paton Walsh is in that park.

And, Nick, this time yesterday there was a lot of violence that was just - it was just right below the surface and boiled over throughout the evening. Do we expect the same tonight?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is certainly tension and fear of that. What we've seen so far today is calm on the outskirts of this. Park police relaxed, a redrawing of the barricades an boundaries, pushing last night's police activity pushing protesters back inside here into Gezi Park, which was the reason concerning (ph) this space that began the protests and now it's again the soul and heart of it.

Let me just show you exactly how tightly and densely packed protesters and their tents are inside this green space. Trees everywhere. You can imagine why people are so concerned if the police try and move into here. Why there was so much panic last night as tear gas wafted in. We even saw water cannons fired in this direction. Briefly police tried to make a move in.

We don't know precisely the government's position on this. The Istanbul governor has said this space will be permitted. But we still have this demand by Prime Minister Erdogan that they would wrap this protest up in about 24 hours. And that's what's got people worried here.

They are in remarkable number. I've not ever seen it this busy. There are people pouring around. It's a very calm atmosphere, though. Almost a utopian alternative society. There was a math (ph) lesson over there, a fashion shoot, a library where there seems to be no tickets or fine system at all. Even a tourist information office for people who happen to pass through.

People are calm, but there is that overriding sense, the knowledge that this is not really authorized, is not recognized by the prime minister, who many here consider authoritarian and so they consider a clock to be ticking, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right, Nick, we're going to get back to you. Let us know how things look in the park there, whether or not they're actually going to heat up.

We are following this in South Africa. Former President Nelson Mandela now said to be responding better to the treatment today. Mandela is in the hospital in Pretoria battling a lung infection. South African President Jacob Zuma says that he is happy with the progress that Nelson Mandela is making. He described the last few days as difficult. Mandela's family members say they do appreciate the outpouring of prayers from around the world. We wish him the very best. Here's more of what we're working on for around the hour - AROUND THE WORLD, rather.

A wildfire in Colorado has already burned down dozens of homes. Winds expected to pick up later today. We're going to take you there live to see how firefighters are doing.

And, swimming the dangerous waters between Cuba and Florida without a shark cage. We're going to take you live to Havana to find out why a former Olympian is taking on that challenge.


MALVEAUX: Here are some stories making news AROUND THE WORLD right now.

Thousands of people trying to fly in and out of France, but can't. French air traffic controllers have been striking now for two days, and about half of the flights at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris have been canceled today.

Thousands of flights across Europe were scrapped yesterday. In just 20 minutes, we're going to tell why air traffic controllers are staging that strike, and when the walkout is expected to end.

And the Lebanese army says that a military helicopter from Syria crossed into Lebanese air space today and fired on a town. Now, if it's true, this would be the first Syrian attack on a populated area inside Lebanon.

That border town called Arsal, that is where thousands of Syrian refugees are taking refuge from the civil war. At least one person was reportedly wounded. There's not an official word yet from the Syrian government.

And the man who made the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person on Earth died early this morning in Japan. Jiroemon Kimura was 116-years-old. That's right, amazing.

He was born the same year as Amelia Earhart when William McKinley was president of the United States. Kimura had 14 great-great- grandchildren. He died today of natural causes in western Japan.

In Colorado, flames ripping through the hillsides, burning dozens of homes, forcing thousands of people run for their lives. There are five wildfires burning in Colorado right now.

I want to bring in our Dan Simon who's in Colorado Springs. I know there are mandatory evacuations going on in an area covering about, what, 5,000 homes. How are people doing?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Five thousand homes and it's believed that it impacts more than 7,000 people.

We believe that most people heeded those evacuation orders and left, but the bottom line is, according to the sheriff, they won't know until they do an assessment and go through all those homes that burned.

At this point they believe that as many as 80 homes were destroyed and they actually believe that number is closer to a hundred.

Right now, crews are out canvassing the area to try to get a real sense as to the exact number of homes that burned. Hopefully, we'll have updated numbers later this afternoon.

But at this point, Suzanne, zero containment for this fire. We're talking about conditions that are hot, windy and dry, obviously, the worst combination you can have when it comes to battling a wildfire. So at this point really no signs of this fire letting up at this point.

MALVEAUX: And Dan, I understand that a prison had to be evacuated as well because of the fires. How did that go?

SIMON: Right. This was southwest of where we are. We're in Colorado Springs. That prison is southwest of here, affecting a different fire -- in connection with a different. That's the Royal Gorge fire.

We're told about 800 prisoners had to be evacuated simply as a precaution. These are low- to medium-risk prisoners, and they have been transferred to other prisons throughout the state, and that happened without incident.

MALVEAUX: All right, Dan. We'll be keeping a close eye on the fires out there. Appreciate it.

The man accused of holding three women in his home for 10 years answered to the charges today. Ariel Castro appeared for less than 90 seconds in a Cleveland courtroom, in and out, never said a word.

Castro's attorney entered a not-guilty plea to more than 300 counts of kidnapping, rape and murder.

The judge set a pretrial hearing date to June 19th, sent Castro back to his jail cell.

For one more thing on the Cleveland kidnapping case, something kind of odd here. If you take a look at this video, this was recorded yesterday. This is at the home where Castro allegedly kept those women captive.

It is a mirrored -- you can see a disco ball that's hanging in the living room, some silver tinsel, decorative garland, all of this inside of the house. Don't really know what the significance is, but Cleveland affiliate station WOIO says that investigators were inside of the house yesterday as well as Monday.

And coming up, how education saved a Cambodian girl from a life spent working in a garbage dump. You don't want to miss this story. It's amazing.


MALVEAUX: All this week, we are focusing on girl's education AROUND THE WORLD, and today we're looking at Cambodia.

There, many girls have to search the garbage dumps to help support their families, but a lucky few get an education.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Westerners know of Cambodia primarily through the movie "The Killing Fields."

People don't understand that this is 30 years later. We have really resilient, strong people that, if given an opportunity, will succeed.

This is a new Cambodia. Sokha is a new Cambodia.

SOKHA: Hello, everybody. My name is Sokha.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Luan Ung (ph), and I'm the writer of Sokha's story.

Sokha's story for me is a narrative of resiliency and toughness. If you're poor and your family needs you to work in the garbage dumps, you don't get to go to school.

SOKHA: I had no choice so I had to decide to work at the dump. It's a bad place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sokha's been given an opportunity to go to school. For a lot of girls in Cambodia, the one way to have a better future is through study.

SOKHA: My dream is to be a teacher and also run a school by myself to help other girls. Education can solve anything.


MALVEAUX: Good for her. Sokha is at the top of her class. She's teaching English to younger students.

To learn more about her story, visit CNN film, "GIRL RISING," premieres this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

A, quote, "gay lobby" and a, quote, "stream of corruption" inside the Vatican, what exactly is Pope Francis talking about? We're going to have that, up next.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD. Here are stories we are working on.

Turkey's Taksim Square is scarred, but calm right now. It was the epicenter of an intense battle between anti-government demonstrators and riot police. You saw that.

The violence didn't end until early this morning. Throughout the night, protesters had to fend off tear gas, water cannons and stun grenades fired by riot police.

The violence prompted protest leaders to cancel plans to meet today with Turkey's prime minister. Activists say the crackdown shows talks would be useless.

And people in southern Hungary are nervously watching. This is the flooded Danube River. That is today. It is expected to crest, could spill over into neighborhoods and homes as well.

In Germany soldiers have dropped huge sand bags from helicopters along the swollen Elba River. They started the operation after several of the dykes broke. Thousands of people have had to evacuate.

And a team of U.N. experts says the damage to historic sights in Timbuktu is far worse than they even imagined. More than 4,000 ancient manuscripts, 16 mausoleums have been destroyed.

Some of the mausoleums were listed among the U.N.'s World Heritage Sites.